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Posted Mon Sep 15 2008: from Connecticut Post:
What's killing off our salt marshes?
Up and down the Eastern Seaboard, the coastal wetlands are dying, and no one knows for sure why this is happening. First observed in the Florida panhandle in 1990, the shoreline degradation, called sudden wetland dieback, has been observed in hundreds of locations from Louisiana to Maine. Scientists say that while it's normal for coastal marsh vegetation to have its bad years, they have never seen marsh grass die and not recover, until now.... Researchers agree that solving the marsh dieback puzzle is important -- not only for the Sound, but for the Earth as well. "The salt marsh is the second most productive ecosystem on the planet -- only the tropical rainforest will produce more biomass per square kilometer," Elmer said. "It also serves as a home for many organisms.
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